Have you violated probation in Indiana, and because of that violation you are now wondering what rights you have. If you have been found guilty of violating probation, it’s entirely within the judges discretion to sentence you to the maximum penalty (back up time) you faced before being placed on probation, up to and including jail or prison. To avoid this from happening, it is important that you have competent legal counsel. Jesse K. Sanchez represents individuals who have been charged with all types of probation violation offenses as well as a number of other criminal defense charges in Indiana.
What Is Considered A Probation Violation?
When you are placed on probation, there are strict guidelines that you must follow. In a situation where one of the guidelines or conditions of your probation are not being followed or a rule is broken, it is considered a violation of probation. At that point, it is up to your probation officer to determine whether or not to “violate” you. What constitutes a probation violation can be a number of things, which include:
- Not Paying Court Costs
- Not Paying Probation Fees
- Not Paying Court-ordered Restitution to Victims
- Missing an appointment with your probation officer
- Committing a New Crime
- Drinking Alcohol or Using Drugs
- Missing Required AA/NA Meetings
- Being Around Someone Engaged in Criminal Activity
- Failure to Complete Court-ordered Community Service
If your probation officer suspects that a condition of your probation has been violated he or she will file an affidavit which will need to be signed by a judge. At that point, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have a hearing in front of a judge, the hearing will likely be in front of the same judge who handled your original criminal case. It’s then when you need to retain the services of a Indianapolis probation violation lawyer to help you in this very serious time. Call The Law Office of Jesse K. Sanchez at (317) 743-0771 for help now.
When Is Probation Given?
When an individual is convicted of a crime, he or she may be forced to deal with fines, incarceration, and probation. Typically, a judge will assign probation to a person who is convicted or sentenced in court. In some instances, probation may be assessed in lieu of incarceration or a prison sentence. The judge will typically assign the length of probation and will set any specific guidelines based on the circumstances surrounding the case.
What Types of Probation Supervision are Common?
The most intrusive form of supervision is known as “intensive probation.” Intensive probation includes supervisory measures such as home detention and GPS monitoring anklets. The types of offenders that normally receive intensive probation include:
- Individuals recently released from prison
- Violent criminals
- Repeat offenders
- Sex offenders
- Juvenile offenders
These individuals may also be required to give up their constitutional rights regarding searches and seizures, also known as the Fourth Amendment. This means that their homes may be searched without warning, or placed under surveillance so that any suspicious activity can be discovered and addressed.
Standard Supervised Probation
Standard supervision is what most of us think of when we imagine probation. Standard supervised probation requires the offender to regularly meet with an assigned probation supervisor and report on how they are accomplishing the requirements of their probationary sentence.
This form of probation does not require the individual to meet with a probation officer. Instead, the person is responsible for accomplishing the requirements of their sentence without outside guidance. Sometimes, the unsupervised probation may call for meetings at the beginning and end of the sentence, though it is not uncommon for no officer meetings to be required at all.
Informal Probation Supervision
This is the most unusual of the probation options. In these cases, the individual on probation has not yet actually been found guilty of a crime, but may be asked to submit to searches or drug tests. If the suspect completes the terms of their informal supervision period, their case will be dismissed.
Adherence to the Conditions of Probation
It is essential that individuals who are placed on probation follow all of the conditions of probation outlined by the court. Failure to follow all of the conditions of probation could result in any of the following to occur:
- Revocation of probation
- Community service
- Extended probation
If you fail to meet the requirements of the conditions of probation that were set by the court, the offender runs the risk of receiving a “motion to revoke probation” to be filed with the court by the probation department. Once the motion to revoke probation has been filed with the court, the judge will typically issue a bench warrant for the individual accused of the probation violation. Unfortunately, the warrants are usually issued without setting a bond. This means that there is a good chance that the accused will be held without bail until a bond has been set. The amount of bail set by the court for misdemeanor probation violation is typically $500, with no set cap on the amount for a felony probation violation. It’s important to have a probation violation lawyer on your side.
Indiana Penalties For Violation Of Probation
If you make a mistake, and violate probation, the judge or the prosecutor will push for stricter guidelines for the remainder of your probation, does the court want you to violate the conditions of probation? No. The court and prosecutor want you to complete your sentence successfully. The penalties for violating probation can vary, but often include the following:
- Loss of Driver’s License
- Community Service
- Payment of Additional Court Costs and Fines
- Jail or Prison time
Probation is serious and should be treated as the opportunity to maintain your freedom that it is. You may face the consequences of your original charge, you could be in jail for an extended period of time without the chance for a bond, and what’s worse is that you can lose the trust of your probation officer and even worse, the judge.
A Probation Violation Defense
Everyone is entitled to the highest-quality legal representation possible. If you have been found to be in violation of your probation, more than likely, you will have a warrant issued for your arrest. If that is the case, you need to be aware that as your probation violation defense lawyer, our first job is to file a bond motion to get you released from jail, pending the hearing on the probation violation.
After the bond hearing, as your Indianapolis, Indiana probation violation lawyer, we conduct an independent investigation to help build a defense to your probation violation charge. When preparing your defense to the probation violation charges, here are a few questions that we try to answer:
- Was the violation willful?
- Was the urinalysis or drug screen equipment in proper working order? Were the proper testing protocols followed?
- Did you have a reasonable excuse for failing to report to your probation officer?
- If you were charged with failing to pay fines or restitution, are you under financial hardship but making a good faith attempt?